The work of the department is mainly funded by government appropriation, with a small amount of revenue generated from the sale of publications and from the department’s seminar program. The department ended the 2019–20 financial year reporting a surplus of $1.487 million (before depreciation). The department incurred total employee benefits of $20.633 million, $0.285 million lower than the budget estimate reported in the 2019–20 Portfolio Budget Statements. Employee benefits were $1.307 million higher than those incurred in 2018–19 ($19.326 million). The year-on-year increase is as expected in the year after an election where staffing requirements increase to meet the demands of a new parliament. Despite the increase, the department is still well under the Average Staffing Level cap of 166 ending the year with an Average Staffing Level of 152.1. In March to June, staffing costs were affected due to the impact of COVID-19 on the sittings of the House. Reduced sittings over the period resulted in less casual staff hours and overtime than would normally occur in Chamber-facing offices.
Supplier expenses increased by $0.021 million between 2018–19 ($5.243 million) and 2019–20 ($5.264 million). Expenditure in this area was $1.051 million lower than was budgeted in the 2019–20 Portfolio Budget Statements budget estimate ($6.315 million). Committee Office domestic travel in support of hearings, along with incoming and outgoing official international delegation programs, were affected by the travel restrictions due to COVID-19. In addition, all face-to-face training programs were ceased, only slightly offset by an increase in LinkedIn learning licences for all staff during March to June.
The department’s financial position has remained strong, with appropriation receivable totalling $17.779 million and cash and cash equivalents of $2.855 million. Of this amount, $2.546 million was funds matured from the term deposit which was not reinvested until early July 2020 while a better rate and appropriate authorities with bank institutions were established.
During the year, the department engaged a valuation specialist to perform a materiality assessment of its property, plant and equipment class. The independent valuer’s report concluded that there was no material difference between fair value and the carrying value of the assets.
The department’s overall financial position continued to remain sound in 2019–20:
- total assets increased by $2.602 million from the prior year to $29.573 million
- total liabilities increased by $0.917 million to $7.725 million.
The estimates for 2020–21 indicate that the department has sufficient resources to continue to support members, the House and committees.
Entity resource statement 2018–19
Actual available appropriations 2019–20
(a) - (b)
Total resourcing and payments for the Department of the House of Representatives
- Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Act (No.1) 2019-2020, Supply (Parliamentary Departments) Act (No. 1) 2019-2020, prior year departmental appropriation and section 74 retained revenue receipts.
- Includes an amount of $0.635 million in 2019–20 for the departmental capital budget. For accounting purposes this amount has been designated as 'contributions by owners'.
Third-party drawdowns from and on behalf of other entities
Payments made on behalf of the Department of Finance (disclosed in the respective entity’s Resource Statement)